Bodybuilding Reviews / Videos
2000 USA Championships; Backstage posing
Backstage Posing, Part I: Bantamweights -- Middleweights
2:04 in length
Produced by Repetrope in 2000
The NPC 2000 USA Championships bodybuilding contest was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on August 4-5. The USA is a top amateur show, second only to the Nationals in prestige. This contest professionalizes its two best competitors with the IFBB, so it's a desirable show to appear in. Each year, the competition is tight -- especially at the top of the six weight classes. This year a number of bodybuilders showed up at the top of their game.
Repetrope is at its best in the backstage posing tapes. You see competitors individually, with each identified as he begins to pose. Some are on camera longer than others (especially those who place high), but you get a good look at most of them close up. As always with Repetrope, the visual image is crisp, the color good, and format effective. The men pose against a dark blue curtain, standing on a black-taped X on the floor at one side of the pump room during the prejudging and evening show. The sound isn't live, but rather a looped recording of pump-room sounds.
In this review, I'll briefly profile each competitor shown, emphasizing his strengths. His placing and statistics appear below his name (age at the time of this contest, height, weight, home state). If he competed again nationally to the end of 2002, I'll note it. Competitors hope to place at least fifth in their weight class, as that qualifies them to appear in the evening show. Even at these lower weights, the better guys are beefed-out and then some.
Bantamweights (to 143 1/4 pounds)
43, 5'7", 137, North Carolina; 9th in this class
Very lean, with an almost teenage-looking build. Has freaky veins in his legs and a nice waist.
41, 5'4", 140, Georgia; 3rd in this class
A good poser. Thickness in his arms, pecs, and neck. Solid V back. Took 1st in lightweights at the Musclemania in 2002.
30, 5'4", 139, Hawaii; 1st in this class
Excellent tight build. Strong arms (especially triceps), quads and abs. A good poser with prominent tattoos, including some crawling up one leg. Took 5th in bantamweights at the Nationals in 2001.
36, 5'4", 134, Nevada; 8th in this class
Nice overall look, and he can pose. Keeps arms prominent in his posing, since they're his best body part. A tight lean build. Took 12th in bantamweights at this show in 2002, at 139 pounds.
34, 5'4", 142, North Carolina; 5th in this class
A solid poser with a nice smile, strong arms, chest and abs. Good balance between upper and lower body. Back shots are his best; he likes to pose and it shows. Took 6th in lightweights at this show in 2001, at 151 pounds.
39, 5'3", 139, Washington; 4th in this class
He peaked well, with razor cuts and some beef, despite his low weight. He favors arm and side chest poses, and displays his back well. Legs also strong. Promising, but hasn't competed at national level since.
43, 5'4", 142, Illinois; 2nd in this class
Excellent lines -- posing quickly brings out his vascularity. Good back well shown off. Scaled down (typical of this class) but solid. Excellent low torso shots. Took 4th in lightweights at the Team Universe in 2002.
Manuel (Manny) Vigil
43, 5'2", 142, Colorado; 7th in this class
A serious competitor, entering every show he can. Nice arms, and tight calves. Peaked well here. Has bicep tattoos. He went up to 153 pounds, taking 15th in lightweights at the Nationals in 2002.
43, 5'3", 137, California; 6th in this class
Low body fat, tight abs. He can pose.
Lightweights (to 154 1/4 pounds)
36, 5'6", 149, Missouri; 6th in this class
My favorite in this class. Solid size, good lines, freaky forearms, V back, and he loves to pose. Would place higher with better legs. Hasn't competed nationally since, unfortunately.
Age not given (over 40), 5'6", 153, California; 9th in this class
Has a tight build, with a solid back.
50, 5'5", 150, Arizona; 8th in this class
Good muscle tone (peaked well), strong arms he poses every chance he gets, and a tight waist. He might do well at the Masters Nationals.
36, 5'5", 150, California; 4th in this class
Great poser with solid legs and pecs, and good lines. Flawless skin tone. Took 10th in lightweights at this show in 2002.
Johnny McKnight, IV
34, 5'4", 151, North Carolina; 2nd in this class
A serious threat at the national level. He's cut, with excellent lines from shoulders to abs. Solid everywhere; the back lat spread is his best pose. Has dropped 10 pounds since this show, taking 2nd in bantamweights at the Nationals in 2002.
25, 5'4", 153, Massachusetts; 1st in this class
A major bodybuilder, Tito's younger brother. Excellent all over, he shows off great abs every chance he gets, including the vacuum pose (sucking in his gut with arms pulled behind his head). Has no weak parts, with a casual smile that sets the tone for his presentation. Also favors the side chest pose, showing off freaky arms. Took 1st in lightweights at the Nationals in 2001, and could have gone pro with IFBB but didn't. He went up to 163 pounds, competing against his brother in the middleweights at the Nationals in 2002, taking 4th (Tito took 5th).
27, 5'5", 153, Maryland; 3rd in this class
Very good lines, including separations in his pecs. Excellent back lat spread, tight everywhere, with good balance between upper and lower body. Hasn't competed since 2000, unfortunately.
35, 5'2", 148, Hawaii; 7th in this class
An off year for Torres; he didn't peak. Has good lines, nice arms and pecs, solid abs. Nice smile, but looks a bit out of it here. He dropped to 143 pounds, winning bantamweights at the Nationals in 2002 (so he can go pro with IFBB).
34, 5'5", 153, California; 5th in this class
Solid all over, with nice back lat spread and solid arms covered in tattoos. Took 1st in lightweights at this show in 2001, and 5th in the same class at the Nationals in 2002. A promising BB.
Middleweights (to 176 1/4 pounds)
35, 5'6", 171, California; didn't place
Looks like a beefed-up Eddie Murray. Tight build with good lines. Has a good double bicep, but an undramatic poser here.
27, 5'7", 172, California; 10th in this class
Just excellent, one of my favorites in this show. Extremely good poser, with terrific cuts, fantastic abs, huge triceps, and an eye-piercing look. Great back double bicep shot. He should have placed higher, and hasn't appeared since at the national level.
34, 5'6", 175, Nebraska; didn't place
Thick torso, with solid traps and arms, a beefy back and pecs. Took 10th in the middleweights at the Team Universe in 2001.
32, 5'6", 173, Florida; 5th in this class
A committed BB. Has paper-thin skin, great striations, solidity all over. Excellent abs, shoulders, arms, really into projecting what he's got. He's gone up to 187 pounds, taking 13th in light-heavyweights at this show in 2001. He took 2002 off, but he'll be back.
32, 5'7", 176, Texas; 6th in this class
Razor-sharp lines, great size, no weak parts, wonderful poser -- he has it all, including the abs. Has complete confidence in what he's got, and some attitude as well. He put on weight after this show, competing at 198 pounds in the light-heavyweights at the Nationals in 2002, taking 3rd. He should go pro soon.
35, 5'6", 176, California; didn't place
Has arms and quads, sometimes grinning sheepishly, as if he's getting away with something. Nice torso posing.
29, 5'6", 172, Pennsylvania; 14th in this class
Has great quads, abs, and traps. He could pose more dynamically, with little of himself projected. Legs overshadow the upper body except for the arms, which are impressive.
27, 5'6", 165, Arizona; 12th in this class
Has cuts, freaky veins in legs, looking almost skinless at times. His posing is routine; he isn't very into it.
29, 5'2", 168, California; 7th in this class
Strong everywhere, with crosshatched pecs when he poses them. Hamstrings, abs, traps, calves -- all are first rate. His short height makes him beefy for his size. This was his most recent national show, but he should be back.
32, 5'6", 172, Virginia; 9th in this class
Tight and dry, all shoulders here. Has cuts and poses well. He went up to 189 pounds after this contest, taking 12th in light-heavyweights at the same show in 2001.
27, 5'6", 176, California; 4th in this class
One of the photogenic smaller BBs. Has a nice overall look, with superior abs. Poses well, with a back lat spread that shows off extensive tattoos. He took 1st in the middleweights at this show in 2002, and won the Musclemania Superbody pro show the same year (but remains an amateur in the NPC).
27, 5'4", 175, California; 11th in this class
Good upper body, including torso and arms, with a blank stare as he poses. Hasn't competed since 2000.
30, 5'8", 176, California; 3rd in this class
Along with McQuay, one of the best known BBs at this size. He's excellent, with huge shoulders, tight cuts, quads, abs, triceps, fantastic overall look shown off to his best advantage. Sports a goatee he later shaved off. The slickest poser on this tape, looks like he was born onstage. Took 1st middleweight in the Team Universe in 2001, 2nd in the middleweights at this show in 2001, and 5th in 2002.
27, 5'5", 167, California; 8th in this class
Strong in abs and legs, with a good lat spread from both front and back. Has cuts and tightness. Took 6th in middleweights at this show in 2002.
38, 5'3", 173, North Carolina; 2nd in this class
A top competitor. Strong everywhere, but dominates with thick hamstrings and back. Exceptional poser, with back poses and side chest being his best shots. Looks quietly proud of his shape, rather than vain -- fun to watch. Since this show, went pro with IFBB by winning the Masters Nationals in 2002 (as a light-heavyweight). Expect him at the Masters Olympia.
27, 5'6", 167, California; didn't place
Excellent pecs and triceps, with abs, traps and quads worth showing off. Poses indifferently, with a "do I have to" look.
26, 5'7", 173, Colorado; 13th in this class
Strong upper body, both front and back. Nice back double bicep, with good lines and abs. Has an appealing smile. Hasn't competed since; I wish he would.
37, 5'6", 176, North Carolina; 1st in this class
A terrific BB who has everything -- especially abs, back, quads and arms -- and projects all he's got. Incredible poser, with a killer back lat spread, and one of the few at this size with an impressive most muscular (crab shot). He went up to 197 pounds, winning the light-heavyweight class at the Nationals in 2002 (going pro with IFBB).
36, 5'7", 175, California; didn't place
Solid arms shown off in a nice side chest, tight skin tone, and good lines. He didn't peak, so looks better from the back than the front.
34, 5'4", 175, California; 15th in this class
A tight build, with solid shoulders, abs and arms (especially triceps). Poses well, with an appealing smile. Hasn't competed since at the national level, unfortunately.
Since descriptions can't fully convey what these guys brought to this show, check the following websites for pix of many of them:
(click on "browse & search by person" and type in the competitor's last name, or "browse & search by contest")
revised February 2004.